You remember seeing all the funny round bruises in the 2016 olympics?
That is cupping, and athletes swear by it, but why and is it for you?
Cupping is a process of attaching cups to the skin and suctioning the skin up into them, sort of like a vacuum. And in fact that is what it feels like, you are attaching a vacuum to your skin.
This works in a couple of ways, it loosens and breaks up knots in muscle tissue allowing the muscle to regain its range of motion, and its power. Especially after very strenuous exercise this can help the muscles recover quicker and reduce pain and stiffness. It also stimulates your immune system so your body will send its army of repair and recovery agents to the site of injury.
You can see why a swimmer like Micheal Phelps, who it seemed was racing every moment would find this beneficial.
But what about you?
Cupping for everyone!
While almost anyone, it is great if you are a little or a lot stiff, or if you have an injury that is stubborn and needs to heal up so you can live your best life. It is not so great for anyone with really fragile skin, so certain cancer patients, older adults and very young children are not recommended.